Mania Grade: B+
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- Audio Rating: B+
- Video Rating: A
- Packaging Rating: B+
- Menus Rating: A-
- Extras Rating: B+
- Age Rating: 13 & Up
- Region: 1 - North America
- Released By: Bandai Entertainment
- MSRP: 29.99
- Running time: 120
- Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
- Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
- Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
- Series: Tenamonya Voyagers
By Chris Beveridge
November 07, 2000
Release Date: November 07, 2000
What They Say
© Bandai Entertainment
Sci-Fi comedy mixed in with giant robot action equals the outrageous feature Tenamonya Voyagers. Ayako a new teacher and Wakana, a student, both have to return home to Earth after their school goes bankrupt. They meet up with an unusual girl named Paraila and decide to make the journey together. However, Paraila is no ordinary girl – she’s a boss in the international crime syndicate known as the Jaokai. Or rather, a former boss… With both the police and the syndicate after her, Paraila continues her mad dash for Earth – dragging along poor Ayako and Wakana, who are now considered her accomplices.The Review!
Here at last, the first region 1 anime DVD exclusive. No subtitled VHS. No dubbed VHS. DVD only. Four episodes that represent the entirety of the OVA series. This is it. The only place to get it.
And boy is it a pretty whacked show at times!
The disc does contain both Japanese and English language tracks, both in a solid stereo mode. There's not a lot of directionality throughout the show, but things sound very good. The music is probably one of the highlights and it sounds quite well balanced throughout. We spot checked the English track on our main setup and everything sounded pretty much on the mark there as well with no noticeable dropouts or varying levels.
The video on this disc is great! The only real flaw we noticed was the extremely minor and very hard to find rainbow. And I mean, I really had to look for it to see it. The animation quality for this OVA series overall is very high. Character designs combined with the great cel coloring bring out some truly great looking pieces of animation. The colors vary from very vibrant to the deep recesses of starships to some really good looking sunset sequences. This disc was a real treat to take in.
For some reason, something is tweaking me in the back of my mind about this cover artwork. It looks good, with the main characters spread across it and with the darker images across the top. Maybe I'm not used to the title on the bottom, or something about the layout. It just feels very much like a region 2 DVD cover. The back cover gives a variety of animation shots of the characters as well as a rundown of what the show is about. Very nicely laid out. The insert has a very nice foldout mini poster of the show as well!
The menus for this release are very cute. They've got a variety of super deformed versions of the characters heads (taken from the ending of the final episode) floating around on screen with mini explosions. It's one of those menus where you just end up looking at it and laughing. Access times are pretty good throughout, though the image gallery is a bit laggy in getting from one to the next. There's not a lot of depth to the menus, so things don't get complex.
There's not a heck of a lot in the way of extras here. The image gallery is pretty much made up of images entirely from the show itself. I'd been hoping for the region 2 cover art or promotional pieces. The textless opening though is always a great extra and should be considered a standard extra!
The basis of the show is probably one of the most traditional style of stories. A couple of people are trying to get home and end up journeying with someone they just met. This someone turns out to be a "real bad person" and is on the run from the law and/or their ex-organization. Frantic chases and daring escapes ensue.
Tenamonya Voyagers follows this plot pretty much in the traditional sense. As with the other million times its been told, it's all about the execution and the characters. Ayako is ostensibly the main character of the series. It's tough times for a woman to get a job, so she takes a teaching job only to find out it's on another planet. The date this show takes place is never really mentioned nor the overall setting. The focus is on the characters.
Ayako makes her way to this school on a far flung planet only to find it in financial ruin when she gets there and is out of a job. Wakana, a fellow Earthling and student as well, finds herself in the same situation. They both decide to find some way to travel back home to Earth together, when a giant mecha comes crashing down into the school.
Enter Paraila, another cute young girl in a skimpy outfit! Yes, she's the bad girl of this series, an ex-boss in the criminal Organization who along with the Police are trying to track her down for their own reasons. Paraila teams up with the two Earthlings as her plans involve getting to Earth.
In the only real mention of the universe at large, we learn that due to recent treaty issues, Earth has become sort of out-of-bounds for the police. Essentially a criminal can get into Earth space, and it wipes out their record.
You'd think more criminals would be heading there, but the police are focused pretty much on Paraila. The three women then head off on their adventure in trying to get back to Earth. They encounter obstacles, they gain an ally in an old friend and they end up taking a breather in a casino world.
And that's not even mentioning the practically all-naked fourth episode.
There's a lot of interesting subtext in the series that never really gets explained. We get varied pieces of information on some of the top bosses of the Organization (and their dealings with one of the other 3 big crime gangs, the Family). These are all very interesting looking and sounding characters that don't get the time to be fleshed out.
Also of interest is the main female officer whose chasing down Paraila. Apparently she used to be part of the Hiroshima police department but ended up being recruited to the Federation Police, someplace where she doesn't need to account for every bullet.
The show has some really great looking animation and a lot of very good "pose" sequences. The humor is pretty much on the bizarre side, especially the previews for the next episode. The third episode preview seems to double as a dictionary! With the knowledge that this disc contains the entire series, it was a lot of fun to sit down and be able to take it all in during one sitting. While it won't have anything more than a cult following, it's a fun show and one I'm glad I got a chance to see.
Don't expect to see this one on Toonami!
Japanese Language,English Language,English Subtitles,Image Gallery,Textless Opening
Toshiba TW40X81 40" TV, Pioneer 414 codefree DVD player, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Monster component cable and Sony speakers.